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A leasing/finance challenge

gj22gj22 Member Posts: 7
edited March 2022 in Deals
Good Evening All,

As I proceed to college I need a car to get from point A to B and with a 30-45 minute commute... that being said I took a trip to the Toyota and Subaru dealership today...

I got quoted for an LE RAV4 with $0 down (lease) 10k miles, and 36 months...for an eye-opening $798.
Later at Subaru, I got quoted again the same details as above for a Crosstrek Premium for $539. I also got quoted for an Outback Premium at $549.

To say the least I was shocked by these prices...and I realized my budget of $300-$340 a month with $0 down (besides fees and first-month lease) would not be possible. I live in Zip 07450.

At this point, I have come to the conclusion that I need to either find a car in the middle of nowhere for lease or a used car for finance....here is where you hopefully come in. I am a 6'3" male and to say the least, I do not fit in a sedan.

Here is what I hope to find in a car a 2019 or above, its safety and reliability, an SUV or of similar sizes like a crossover or outback, no more than 25k miles, AWD, monthly payments cannot be too far over $340 a month, I can manage to put down $1,500, apple carplay. This is what I would love to have but, is a stretch Blind-spot monitoring, heated seats, remote start (via app or key).

I know this seems impossible but, I do not mind going to Illinois to pick up the vehicle or having it shipped here again I live in 07450. I would truly appreciate it if anyone could help me!

Thank you,


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    stickguystickguy Member Posts: 50,719
    not a good time to be looking for cheap wheels. That being said, if you want to save money, reconsider a sedan. There are plenty that someone your height can easily fit in. Or, scrunch up (hey, I did worse in college!)

    I am assuming you are commuting to college? So doing the drive every day? If not (meaning you live there) I would buy a cheap beater. But if doing that drive in Bergen county (I used to live in Dumont!) you want something reliable. and a cheap lease is a great way to do it (when they existed) because you get a warranty and cost certainty.

    and right now, used cars are a horrible buy. I would get something new from a dealer still doing MSRP and finance for 6 years before paying original sticker price for a 3 YO 50K mile car.

    Right now, some Hyundais are not too bad (Elantra, maybe Sonata). Also look at a VW Jetta (they are very roomy). And get phenomenal MPG (will save money at least with that).

    Download the Rodo app. That is a great way to check out various options for a reality check. Not always the cheapest but sometimes a real good deal pops up.

    I looked at a couple quick for you. Assuming just first payment due at signing (so if you did $1,500 at signing instead, figure about $32 less per month payment). All these are 3 year, 36,000 mile leases. And with your $1,500 to put into it, all come in under $400/month and all get good MPG.

    Corolla SE - MSRP $24,153, $370 DAS/$370 monthly (3 years, 12000 miles). So hits your $340 month target.

    Jetta S $345/$345 (4 years, 12K/year) or $392 for 3 year lease. Maybe you need 4 to get through school?

    Elantra SEL $394/$394 (3 year lease).

    Sonata SEL for $416/$416. Roomier and a bit nicer, and does have Blind spot monitoring.

    Sentra SV $359/$359 for 4 years, $391 for 3 years.

    Altima S for $428/$428

    Mazda 3 hatchback select SE $395/$395 for 3 years. has blind spot and carplay.

    Kia Forte LXS for $343/$343.

    anyway, just what I thought of off top of my head, but I could have click the "buy it now" button on any of these. Not the most exciting bunch of cars, but they all (I think) have carplay, some have BLIS or other niceties but all get very good mileage and should get you through college in one piece.

    if you want the comparable CUV version of any of these (VW Taos, Rogue, RAV 4, CX 30) figure on spending at least another $150/month (often more) on the lease, and a bit more on gas.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD, 2023 Maverick hybrid Lariat luxury package.

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    stickguystickguy Member Posts: 50,719
    oh, forgot an important point. right now, leasing terms are really bad, even compared to buying new. and used cars are really high and short supply.

    the best deals can actually end up being a lower priced new car (if you can find one). something about $25,500 out the door (something like one of the cheaper cars listed above that sticker for around $23,000 for 6 years financed at 2% (if maker offers incentive financing) with your $1500 down, would also be about $340/month. and after 3 years you are probably going to be well ahead financially compared to paying as much to lease one. and still have a car going forward.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD, 2023 Maverick hybrid Lariat luxury package.

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    gj22gj22 Member Posts: 7

    @stickguy thank you for your help! I’ll take a look into everything you said!!

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    qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 33,015
    It is far from the truth that you don't fit in a sedan. I'm 6'5" and fit in plenty of sedans and some compacts. It has more to do with the adjustability of the seat than anything else.

    You said how many minutes, but not how many miles. Would a Nissan Leaf work? That's about the cheapest lease currently. There are also still some deals to be had on a Nissan Frontier. And check out the aforementioned Forte and Jetta. The German will likely be more comfortable and usually better for tall people.

    '11 GMC Sierra 1500; '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c; '20 S90 T6; '22 MB Sprinter 2500 4x4 diesel; '97 Suzuki R Wagon; '96 Opel Astra; '08 Maser QP; '11 Mini Cooper S

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